Underserved Business Month (UBM)

Empowering, Uplifting, Celebrating...

Welcome to Underserved Business Month (UBM), a pioneering initiative dedicated to amplifying the voices and empowering businesses that have historically faced barriers. More than just an event, UBM is a year-long commitment dedicated to fostering an inclusive ecosystem, amplifying voices, streamlining capital access, and providing unwavering support for underserved entrepreneurs.

Mission: To empower, uplift, and celebrate underserved businesses, who are our unsung champions, the heartbeat of our economic prosperity. 

Vision: An inclusive business ecosystem that ushers generational wealth to all, regardless of zip code.

Who are Underserved Businesses?

Underserved businesses include women, minorities or BIPOC, veteran-owned businesses, and those in low wealth, rural, or disaster- impacted communities. These businesses often face challenges in accessing capital, resources, and support needed for growth.

UBM Programs:

  1. Business Mentorship Program: The Business Mentorship Program is a comprehensive initiative designed to support underserved entrepreneurs in Minnesota through expert mentorship. We offer a blend of structured guidance and personalized sessions to help entrepreneurs navigate the complexities of business ownership and management.
  2. Mentor Protege Program: In the Mentor Protege Program, successful businesses extend a helping hand to startups and struggling enterprises, sharing invaluable business and technical skills. This program focuses on providing comprehensive support to these businesses, ensuring effectiveness, sustainability, and contribution to Minnesota's economic and social landscape.
  3. Business Exit Strategy (BES) Program: The UBM Business Exit Strategy Program helps small business owners in Minnesota, especially those run by BIPOCs and veterans, to find the best way to close or change ownership of their business. This program is designed to make this process easier for businesses that might not have many resources.
  4. Accelerator Program: Our Accelerator Program is a high-impact initiative aimed at propelling the growth of promising underserved businesses. It's not just a program; it's a commitment to your success.
  5. Capital Access Training: The Capital Access Training program empowers businesses with the knowledge and tools needed to navigate the intricate landscape of funding, ensuring they have access to the resources necessary for growth and sustainability.
  6. Digital Drive: The Digital Drive initiative aims to provide laptops to underserved businesses, bridging the digital divide and empowering entrepreneurs with the tools they need to succeed in today's digital economy.
  7. Finding Equities for Underserved Businesses: This program centers on identifying and securing equity for underserved businesses, offering a unique approach to sustainable business growth.

Why Underserved Business Month?

The state of Minnesota experienced an unprecedented surplus in 2023, but it's crucial to recognize that this surplus won't last indefinitely. The essence of Underserved Business Month is to engage all stakeholders in our state to continue building and supporting underserved businesses and communities. Our mission, led by Equitable Development Action in partnership with grassroots organizations, aims to establish UBM, a platform dedicated to empowering underserved businesses and communities to thrive, bolster local economies, and foster generational wealth.

Underserved businesses are the backbone of the US economy, constituting 99.9% of all businesses. Despite their significance, many face significant challenges, with approximately 21% failing within the first year, and just 25% making it beyond 15 years. Underserved Business Month is a testament to our commitment to uplift and celebrate these businesses, recognizing them as unsung heroes in our society.

In our society, the art of opportunity hoarding is unfortunately prevalent, with wealth often being kept within a particular circle, leaving aspiring entrepreneurs struggling to find their footing. Underserved Business Month (UBM) aims to shine a light on this issue and break down barriers to success by providing the escape velocity needed for startups to take flight and fulfill their American dream.

UBM is more than just an event; it's a movement dedicated to leveling the playing field and ensuring that every entrepreneur, regardless of background or circumstance, has access to the resources, support, and opportunities they need to thrive. By unmasking the systemic challenges faced by underserved businesses and providing a platform for growth and recognition, UBM is paving the way for a more inclusive and equitable business ecosystem where all can succeed.

  • Economic Growth: Focusing on underserved businesses is imperative for economic growth and development. By supporting these businesses, we stimulate job creation, reduce unemployment rates, and foster economic resilience within underserved communities.
  • Social Inclusion: Empowering underserved businesses is crucial for promoting social inclusion and reducing inequality. These enterprises provide economic opportunities, empower marginalized populations, and foster community cohesion.
  • Innovation and Creativity: Underserved communities are hubs of innovation and creativity. By focusing on underserved businesses, we tap into their potential to drive innovation, foster entrepreneurial ecosystems, and address unmet needs within their communities.

Cultural Diversity: Underserved businesses play a vital role in preserving cultural heritage and diversity. They safeguard traditions, promote cultural exchange, and celebrate identity, contributing to community revitalization and the preservation of intangible cultural heritage.